The Art of Inner Health
Feeling stiff, stuck or with a sense of unease in your body?
Qigong is a movement practice that:
- Reduces pain, stress and tension
- Improves balance
- Increases flexibility
- Builds strength
- Develops stamina
- Enhances coordination and fluidity of movement
- Lifts mood, brightens your outlook on life
- Creates community when done with others
Qigong frees up energy that is stuck in the muscles and tissues of the body and gets it moving.
The most important result? You improve your own health.
I love to teach Qigong to women…because we are such naturals. Keep in mind, Qigong is an eastern art, and I am a western girl. So here is my version:
As women, we frequently find ourselves ‘being moved’ by emotion – it is a common everyday experience when we’re around those we love or when we see someone hurting. Our HEARTS are always on. This process of ‘being moved’ comes from inside, and often we follow that by ‘feeling moved’ to do something – to help, to assist, to serve. It is the WAY OF THE FEMININE.
What does this have to do with Qigong?
Well, you can consider Qigong to be the art of listening – but, the art of listening through FEELING. Not emotional feeling, but the CAPACITY to FEEL from the INSIDE. And there is no better gender for feeling than WOMEN! Qigong is all about paying attention to what is going on inside YOUR BODY. Yes, it’s a switch for women, because we are always paying attention to others. But in Qigong, you get to pay attention to YOUR SELF – from WITHIN.
In Qigong you stand still and tap into YOUR breath. You let yourself find – discover – your BREATH. And then you MOVE with that breath, in a slow and easy and gentle fashion.
It’s more difficult – and easier – than it sounds. But, it is an incredible journey of personal self-discovery – of your BODY. As we mature through life, our bodies become really important. Qigong works best when you allow yourself to develop the kind of curiosity that allows your body to open and soften. Then, you don’t have to carry tension and stress – you can LET IT GO. Then your body starts working better for you, as well as your mind and emotions. It is a real physical process with real results. It just happens to feel nice, too.
And it helps BUILD INTERNAL STRENGTH.
This is why I love Qigong.
Here is a more formal explanation:
Qigong is a five thousand year old eastern health care practice that improves health and cultivates longevity. ‘Qi’ means ‘energy’, or the ‘internal life force’ that flows through the body nourishing and activating the functions of the body and its internal systems. When Qi is not flowing well, there may be poor health, pain, tension, stiffness, or not being able to move the joints of the body through their full range of movement – all things brought on by stress, daily life, illness or injury. These may all be considered a normal part of living, although not desirable for maintaining the best health over the longest life.
The word ‘gong’ means ‘to cultivate,’ generally referring ‘to practice‘ or ‘to apply effort.’ Therefore, Qigong is the practice of cultivating and strengthening the internal energy of the body to improve physical, mental and emotional health. Qigong has been used for this purpose for thousands of years. You may have seen Qigong in pictures being practiced in groups in parks and natural settings. Outdoors is one of the best places to practice.
Qigong comes from eastern medicine.
Qigong is so central to Traditional Chinese Medicine that it is one of the four branches of Chinese Medicine: Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage and Medical Qigong. Medical Qigong is when a doctor or practitioner uses their hands to improve the flow of qi on another person, to eliminate disease and restore health. Self-Healing Qigong is when an individual practices qigong movements to activate and nourish their own health.
Tai Chi, or Taiji as it is traditionally known, is another eastern movement practice you may be familiar with, is actually a form of Qigong. Qigong is the foundational practice of Taiji. Here is a quote from a contemporary Tai Chi Master:
Wu Tu-nan (a 105 year old Taiji Quan Master 1884-1989)
“Is Taiji Quan practice the reason for your longevity? “Not directly. Taiji Quan helps cultivate a relaxed spirit. Having a relaxed spirit is the secret of longevity.”
Tools of Qigong: the body, the mind, and the breath.
Gentle stretches and slow, flowing movements, along with the use of attention and conscious breathing, are used to activate, mobilize and circulate internal energy. This nourishes the vital organs and improves the overall function of the body itself. Qigong has been well loved over centuries because of its benefits for healthy aging.
Regular practice of qigong quiets the mind, calms the emotions and enhances internal awareness, mindfulness and inner stillness. As with all daily health practices, the purpose is to create and develop harmony within the body, mind and spirit so that you experience greater health and ease in life.
Women’s Community Qigong is held at the Tulare County Library in Visalia on the grass on the east side of the building under beautiful oak trees, at the corner of Oak and Locust Streets. Times will adjust as the seasons and weather change. Cost is $20 a month, or FREE if you are in Over 40 Empowered and Free Package.
Want to learn more, or perhaps do Qigong? Call to find out when it’s happening, I’d love to share.
Or, Call or Text (559) 786-3358 anytime to schedule an appointment.
To good health,